MANILA - Bed-ridden senior citizens in Marikina City received their COVID-19 shots in their homes on Thursday, as the city continued with its vaccination rollout despite limited supply.
The house-to-house vaccination among bed-ridden senior residents were conducted by the city's health workers.
Among those vaccinated was 83-year-old retired doctor Felix Marcelo of Barangay Sta Elena.
“It is definitely a help, you are increasing your resistance,” Marcelo said.
Marikina City Mayor Marcy Teodoro, meanwhile, appealed for more vaccine supplies as additional 4,800 doses of Beijing-based Sinovac's coronavirus shots were set to arrive in the city Thursday afternoon.
Teodoro said these were what the Department of Health (DOH) earlier committed for his 2,400 residents.
Marikina City is still far from achieving herd immunity, he said, with around 21,000 vaccines administered so far out of the target 280,000 individuals.
He also noted that economic frontliners should also be prioritized along with medical workers, senior citizens and individuals with comorbidities.
“Dahil may limitasyon sa bakuna, nakikita namin mas magandang strategy ay [bakunahan ang] mga lumalabas, highly mobile 'yung mga economically active mga nagtatrabaho upang sa ganon ay... mawala ang kakulangan ng kinikita para sa pamilya, mabawasan ang bilang ng nakakaranas ng gutom dahil walang pagkakataon sa pangkabuhayan,” he said.
(Because there is a limitation in vaccines, we think that it is a good strategy if we vaccinate those who are going out of their houses to work. They are highly mobile and economically active. In this way, we can prevent them from losing their income for their family, as well as lessen the number of people experiencing hunger when they lose their jobs.)
Currently, frontline workers under the A4 category have yet to be included in the government's priority sector for vaccination, as the health department is supposedly still in the middle of crafting guidelines for them.
The A4 priority group refers to frontliners of essential sectors. These include market vendors, supermarket and food retail workers, and other workers who interact with the public due to their work.
Marikina was one of Metro Manila cities that experienced a surge in daily COVID-19 cases in late March, which prompted national government to place the capital region under the strictest quarantine level again, a year after its first implementation.
Among the hardest hit by the pandemic in Asia, the Philippines aims to vaccinate up to 70 million people or two-thirds of its population this year.